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#981404 - 08/09/08 07:12 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
(Ding ding) You are correct, very good! \:\)

J.C. Bach was the 18th and youngest surviving child of J.S. Bach.

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#981405 - 08/09/08 07:59 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Good Grief: Poor Mrs. J.S. Bach!! I think she show share some of her husband's limelight. And this seems to be proof that he didn't spend all of his time composing. \:D

Frycek: Once again you've proven to be a font of knowledge. Congrats and don't spend all that $400 in the same place.

And thanks, Chardonnnary, for reviving the Chopn Jeopardy game.

Here's one for $500. Which genre of Chopin's music was once referred to as a "two-faced Janus" by Eigeldinger?

Clock is ticking...

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#981406 - 08/09/08 09:30 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
anakbekasi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 4
This is a great forum, but what finally bought me is this thread. Thanks sooooo much for this thread \:\) Chopin is the reason why I play the piano. Being a poor student, I could only get a cheap keyboard to practice with, but the next thing I bought was (other than a basic piano book) Chopin's Preludes and Nocturnes books and CDs. Completely out of my skill level, but always gives me the push to practice and practice \:\)

So all thumbs up for loveschopintoomuch and everybody else who has contributed to this thread.

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#981407 - 08/09/08 10:35 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Dear Anakbekasi:

I would just love to post your letter on a giant billboard or perhaps hire a skywriter to put every word of it up there among the clouds for everyone to see. \:\) \:\)

I simply can not tell you how your post affected me. My eyes got misty and a lump formed in my throat.

It is for you[/b] and because of you that we exist. You and others like you are our reason for being, and for that...thank you with all my heart.

You and I have a lot in common. It was the music of Chopin that lead me to the piano over 55 years ago! And his music is still the reason why I play.

I want to give you all the encouragement I can. But you seem very, very motivated, and that's just super. His preludes are a good place to start. I do have that book that you mentioned. The one published by Alfred with the CD. It is wonderful. The first piece I learned was the A minor waltz for the melody haunted me for weeks.

Do you have a teacher or are you teaching yourself? If the latter is true, please do not get discouraged. I taught myself the "easier" preludes...#4, #6, #7 and #20. Later, much later I should add, it was the Raindrop, #15. I am not exceptionally talented or intelligent, but I just plodded away at it, measure at a time (sometimes, just a few chords at a time). At the beginning, I would look at the music and think to myself that there was no way that I could ever learn it. But...it DID happen. If you are determined (and that you certainly are) ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

So please let us know how you are doing. We would love to help you with questions you might have, concerning anything. Don't be a stranger.

So once again, I am so grateful for your kind words. And even more thrilled to learn that you have discovered our hero's music and want to make it your own.

Good luck to you, and remember: "Time is the best critic; practice is the best teacher."

Sincere regards,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#981408 - 08/09/08 08:55 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
anakbekasi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 4
Thanks for the words of encouragement \:D Prelude Op. 28 No. 20 happens to be my all time (at least for now hehe) Chopin favorite! In my opinion, no. 20 is the piece that really shows Chopin mastery in composition. For some reason, it feels like Chopin is trying to say "listen to this song, you won't hear any catchy hooks, any 8 notes per second to get your jaw dropped, nor confusion on what key the song is played. But listen to this song, and we will take a journey, and we'll do it slowly and progressively. We will feel the landscape, and you will be teased in the chords and suffer for waiting and wanting the next chord to be played. I will not lead you anywhere, I'll let you roam free along the journey. But we will take a journey, and let you feel my misery."

I don't know if that makes much sense hahaha but that's how I picture that piece and what Chopin would say though the piece (I'm also a bit too imaginative).

Anyways, thanks again for the words of encouragement! I will definitely go to some masters here for help \:\)

Cheerios

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#981409 - 08/10/08 08:03 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
MmmmBalf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/08
Posts: 64
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Well I just thought I'd add my thanks to loveschopintoomuch and everyone else who has contributed to this thread. I can't say I've finished reading it all yet ;\) it's a long thread! \:D So much to look forward to still.

Chopin is also the reason that I've finally started to learn piano. I've wanted to play since I was a child, which was when I fell in love with his music. When I was around 5 or 6 years old, my parents bought me a record - it was an old 78 if anyone remembers them ;\) - called Sparky's Magic Piano. It's an audio story of a little boy learning the piano who falls asleep and dreams his piano is magic and can play itself. (I wonder if anyone else remembers it?) Anyway, the first piece played in the story (apart from his practice lesson) is Chopin's Waltz in E minor (which doesn't get played all the way through). There are also 2 other Chopin pieces (Etudes). This was my introduction to Chopin and classical music. I played that record over and over when I was a child. Chopin has been in my heart ever since.

Imagine my surprise when recently I discovered Sparky was still available, now on CD! The original recording from 1947. (Hey, that's not when I got it! LOL. I'm only 44) So I quickly ordered it from Amazon \:D Wow, talk about bringing back memories. I'd heard it so often back then that the second it started I was 6 years old again sitting on the floor in my parents lounge room.

Now I've finally fullfilled my dream of owning a piano and starting to learn. I've only been playing a week, so it'll be a while before I'm playing Chopin, but it's his music I dream of playing, have dreamt of always.

Balf ♫

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#981410 - 08/10/08 09:24 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Wow!! I could not [/b] imagine a better way to start my day (my week) than reading your two posts.

Anakbekasi: Your description of the #20 prelude was wonderous. Your imagination is perfect for Chopin, for his music often always defies the ability to put its effect on one's soul into words. But you have managed to do so, and quite beautifully, I should add. I have always loved the dramatic change in moods beginning at measure 5. I would play it (the first time) quite gently and softly. And the second time around, just a sweet echo of the first.

Your narrative of a journey is elegant and poetic, and I can see how it could be interpreted as such. Chopin was a man full mystery. His music proves this. Whether it is a joyful mazurka or the deep, dark broodings of one of his etudes or scherzos, he opens his heart and soul for us to share all that he was...in his music. Thank you for your insights into this piece. I will remember it always as such whenever I play it. Keep posting! Promise! We want to hear more from you.

Hi Balf: And a hearty welcome to you. All the way from Australia!! What a wonder this electronic age is that we can communicate with each other from all around the globe.

I thought your description of how you were introduced to Chopin's music was charming and touching. I'm sorry that I've never heard of "Sparky's Magic Piano," but I do know that the music we hear in childhood stays with us into our adult years and has the greatest impression on us, like forever.

That you have realized your dream of getting a piano is fate's promise that you will, someday, play the Chopin's music. As always, I must mention that it will not be easy at first. In fact, it will be downright frustrating, and you might be tempted to quit. But don't!

I can't tell you the number of people I know who did quit and then regretted it like nothing else, for the rest of their lives. I include myself in this group. I came back after decades, and I was so sorry that I had let all those years go by, simply because I let frustration get the upper hand. I was in a hurry to play the "big" pieces and wouldn't accept the fact that I needed to learn how to crawl and then walk before I could run. A lesson that is difficult to put into practice when one wants to play Chopin so badly.

Listen to his music as much as you can for that will help with motivation and the desire to learn. Start with the easier preludes when you can get to that point, perhaps after a year, maybe less. Don't rush it because that can be dangerous. It will come in time, of this I am totally certain.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. And for posting and letting us know your dreams. We all wish you the best and know that you will succeed in obtaining them...again, of this I am certain!

My most heartfelt affection to both of you,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#981411 - 08/10/08 02:32 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
I'll never forget how, when I was 14 and told my piano teacher that I wanted to play Chopin, she tried unsuccessfully not to laugh. The rest of her reply was not encouraging, to say the least. I had been playing the piano for about a year, and I believed her when she said it would be a long, long, time before I could manage any Chopin.

Of course, I did manage to learn the 4th, 6th, and 20th preludes, and in another year or so, the A minor waltz, 34/2. So there.

After many years of my own students, now I understand that I was at least average as a piano student and didn’t deserve to be discouraged that way. I also know that there are other short, relatively accessible pieces that Chopin left to us, which my teacher seemed to be unaware of. I’m not going to say “easy,” but doable at least. I’ve mentioned the two Alfred collections in other messages. I’d like to particularly mention one piece that may often be forgotten, a straightforward arrangement of the song “Wiosna.” So for you newbies that aspire to play Chopin, don’t be discouraged. But do play a wide range of repertoire and exercises that will develop the necessary skills, and be prepared to spend a long time learning. The rest of your life, in fact.

I never left the piano for any substantial period of time, but I did push it into the background, because professionally I was playing guitar and lute. When my current obsession with Chopin began in 1993, I was a fairly hot lutenist. Suddenly I became unable not to play the piano; I even broke up with my duet partner because I could not devote myself to the lute sufficiently anymore. Instead of being a high-level plucked string player at this point in my life, I’ve ended up mostly as a rather inept pianist. It’s all his fault! That’s the power of his work, that it can pull us in almost against our will.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#981412 - 08/10/08 02:40 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
All:

Have you tried pressing the "Panic: My Boss Is Coming" button to the right of the screen? Try it if you haven't!

Elene again
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#981413 - 08/10/08 04:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
He he yes, that panic button is fun! (But I don't have a boss.)

A warm welcome to anakbekasi and MmmmBalf. It is always good to hear of yet more devotees to this very special composer. Good luck with your efforts to play Chopin's music - if you go slowly and thoroughly you'll actually end up playing better than if you rush.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#981414 - 08/11/08 03:52 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
pianistical Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 1377
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
My contribution to this thread: A travelogue from Krakow, Poland

I spent some time in the lovely city of Krakow this summer. The old town of Krakow is very picturesque and contains many cultural treasures.
The people are generally very friendly, soft spoken and very religious. There are around 120 churches in Krakow! Actually we had an even nicer time in Krakow then we had in the more high profile cities of Vienna and Prague. Did you know that up until the 16th Krakow was the capital of Poland until King Sigismund from the Swedish dynasty of Wasa transfered the capital to Warsaw?
As a Swede I feel a bit guilty about that. The decline of Poland as a great European power started at around the same time.

See http://images.google.se/images?hl=sv&q=krakow&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

Now for the pianos.

At the Jagiellonian University museum I had the opportunity to see(not play) Chopin´s beautiful Pleyel grand piano. I asked if could taint the ivories with my fingerprints but they said it that was forbidden for visitors. At least I had to ask. \:\) The museum of the Jagiellonian University contains many cultural treasures.

See: http://www3.uj.edu.pl/Muzeum/maius.en.html

One of the highlights of the trip was the opportunity to play Chopin on a beautiful sounding Blüthner once owned by Jozef Mehoffer, one of Polands great sons. His home has been turned into a beautiful museum. The Bluthner was about the same age and model as my own from 1913. When I showed interest in it they invited me to play. Of course I chose to play Chopin. More specifically his first Nocturne. What an honour for me!

See http://www.muzeum.krakow.pl/uploads/pics/mehof01_01.jpg
http://images.google.se/images?um=1&hl=sv&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=mehoffer&spell=1

I also attended several "tourist concerts".

At the Polonia house they have a powerful and rich sounding old Bechstein.

At the Bonerowski Palace they have what I believe to be a rather new Steinway S. I was hugely disappointed to pay good money to see a performance on a Steinway S by what seemed to be a student. The only plus was a very nice view over the square.

We also listened to the first movement of Chopin´s first piano concerto performed on an old Ibach at the church of St Peter and St Paul. The Ibach had a clear singing tone that was somewhat brighter then the tone of Blüthner. The accoustics of the church is wonderful. Later on we also attended a concert with Vilvaldi´s four seasons in the same church.

Lastly I played a honkytonk old Bechstein upright in one of Krakows best restaurants. Cyrano de Bergerac has earned stars in the Michelin guide.

For anyone going to Krakow I would especially recommend the concerts at the church of St Peter and St Paul. Stay away from the Bonerowski palace.
If you ask nicely you may also be able to play Jozef Mehoffer´s Blüthner at his own house and museum.
_________________________
“There are only two important things which I took with me on my way to America, It´s been my wife Natalja and my precious Blüthner.” – Sergei Rachmaninov

1913 Blüthner model 6
1929 Blüthner model 9.
1955 Steingraeber upright.

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#981415 - 08/11/08 03:57 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
pianistical Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 1377
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Looking back it would have been a nice twist to play "Chopin" by Schumann on the Blüthner. Check it out. It is lovely piece in hommage to Chopin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-WcPruC5LI

I wish I could express my devotion to Chopin like Schumann did.
_________________________
“There are only two important things which I took with me on my way to America, It´s been my wife Natalja and my precious Blüthner.” – Sergei Rachmaninov

1913 Blüthner model 6
1929 Blüthner model 9.
1955 Steingraeber upright.

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#981416 - 08/11/08 07:38 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianistical:
I wish I could express my devotion to Chopin like Schumann did. [/b]
I wish Chopin could have reciprocated it in some small measure! (Well, he did dedicate Op. 38 to him, but by all accounts he felt no affection for Schumann's music.)

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#981417 - 08/11/08 08:09 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
And Schumann wasn't particularly impressed by Op. 38, comparing it as he was to Op. 23. Op. 38 has a much simpler structure than the other Ballades.

Comparing works like these, while simple on the surface, poses a real challenge. Both of these pieces speak of tragedy, but two very different tragedies, different casts, different scenarios, and on seemingly different scales. The one speaks of the sublime, the weighty while the other of childlike innocence juxtaposed in razor sharp relief - in almost diabolical fashion - with unfettered violence. It is impossible to speak of the "better" Ballade, because "better" is highly subject to metrics of intepretation.

Comparing, say, the similar Op. 28 No. 19 and Op. 25 No. 8 - smaller works - poses far less of a challenge. Impression- and mood-wise, they are twin sisters.
_________________________
http://www.ecital.net
Wikicital: A collaborative effort to build a knowledgebase of classical music history combined with examples. Your chance to both perform and write...

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#981418 - 08/12/08 08:41 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hello Pianistical and Welcome: Your name is well-chosen.

Your contribution to this thread is very gratefully received. The photos are marvelous. I have never heard of the artist Methoffer, but his works are wonderous. (I noticed Buffalo mentioned in the sites. Are the paintings in Buffalo, New York? Excuse my ignorance if I am way off base in this assumption. I only mention this because Buffalo was the city where my Polish grandfather settled and raised his family.) Thank you so much for sharing the details of your trip with us. It would certainly seem that Krakow would a be must[/b] on any itinerary. What a wonderful visit you had, and I must add that you obviously do not suffer from performance anxiety. I am also 1/4 Swedish and was rather shocked to learn that Sweden had a hand in one of the many downfalls of Poland. That piece by Schumann pulls at one's heartstrings. The melody is almost Chopin-like. I also have an old piano (1913 Lyon and Healey, though nothing of the grandeur of your pianos.) Thank you for dropping in and please do so often.

I don't have a clue why Chopin disliked Schumann (I can't believe it was only because of that "genius" statement) but then he disliked so many people for reasons that are curious, to say the least. Schumann has always held a special place in my heart because of the sorrow of his last years. Anyone who has sufferred from depression must feel his pain in some way.

Quite frankly (and as I have always stated, I am no expert), both the ballades mentioned are not "simple" in complexity. In all of his ballades, I find such a sense of future worlds, music yet to be fully realized by the era in which he lived. Greg has mentioned that both speak of tradedy, and I can't argue with that. There definitely is a lot of rage and anger and yet a sense of hope and even joy. The magic and genius that was Chopin is fully realized in both pieces.

I must confess that I have to be in a certain mood to listen to them. They leave me rather drained but, at the same time, overwhelmed.

Thank you all...The above was great reading as I enjoyed my 2 cups of morning coffee.

Best to all, as always...
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#981419 - 08/13/08 01:33 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
pianistical Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 1377
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
loveschopintoomuch,

Thank you for a great thread.

I just googled pictures from Krakow so I have no idea about the Buffalo connection.

Wyspianski, another great polish painter, and Mehoffer were friends and rivals. They were sometimes commissioned together. Later in his life Mehoffer bought the house where Wyspianski was born and today it has been turned into the Mehoffer museum.
http://images.google.se/images?um=1&hl=sv&q=wyspianski&btnG=S%C3%B6k+bilder

I do have performance anxiety, but I had set out to steal an opportunity to play Chopin in Poland. Little did I guess that I would be playing Mehoffer´s Bluthner! My heart was beating twice the speed when I played in front of the museum staff.

Both Sweden and Poland were great European powers at some time in their history. Swedes even went all the way to Moscow and Vienna to mess things up. In Prague I believe one can refer to hooligans as "Swedes on the Karl´s bridge".
http://images.google.se/images?hl=sv&q=Karls%20bridge%20prague&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

However, Sigismund was appointed King of Poland by the poles themselves. The problem was that he also inherited the throne of Sweden. This proved troublesome because he was brought up by his mother in the Catholic faith and Sweden was protestant. His uncle, Duke Johan, defeated Sigismund and became King of Sweden. Sigismund continued to make efforts to recover the throne of Sweden but this led to a series of fruitless wars between Sweden And Poland which seriously dented Polands position as a European power.

Sigismund should have stuck to his interest in painting and being a goldsmith. Apparently three of his paintings still exist.
_________________________
“There are only two important things which I took with me on my way to America, It´s been my wife Natalja and my precious Blüthner.” – Sergei Rachmaninov

1913 Blüthner model 6
1929 Blüthner model 9.
1955 Steingraeber upright.

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#981420 - 08/13/08 03:12 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
Dear pianistical, thank you very much for your interesting contribution. I enjoyed browsing through Wyspianski's paintings just now - a pleasant way to start the day.

It is sometimes said that Chopin was a little old-fashioned in his artistic tastes, but really there is little to support that view. We do know that he visited art galleries so he must have enjoyed looking at paintings.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#981421 - 08/13/08 08:18 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
It has been documented that Chopin didn't care for Delacroix' paintings (although they were good friends), but... did he at least like the portrait of himself (and Sand) that Delacroix painted? I always wondered that.

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#981422 - 08/13/08 10:04 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chardonnay:
It has been documented that Chopin didn't care for Delacroix' paintings (although they were good friends), but... did he at least like the portrait of himself (and Sand) that Delacroix painted? I always wondered that. [/b]
Apparently neither Chopin nor George Sand liked it, which is probably why Delacroix lost heart and never finished it. They must've been gentle about it though as Delacroix remained friends with both of them until the breakup and one of Chopin's most loyal friends up to the very end of his life. Delacroix also served as one of the pallbearers at Chopin's funeral, a very great honor.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981423 - 08/13/08 01:22 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
I wonder why Chopin didn't like it? I think Delacroix made him look positively dashing!

I suspect our Frederick was very hard to please! \:\)

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#981424 - 08/13/08 02:32 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
If you see the reconstructed picture of the two of them George and Chopin don't look like they occupy the same dimension - Delacroix wasn't at his best with perspective. Perhaps Delacroix himself was dissatisfied as well. I think Chopin looked fine (he might have thought it too emotionally revealing) but George didn't come off nearly so well. Perhaps Chopin was being chivalrous supporting his lady in her dislike of it. As for Chopin being hard to please, many, many people drew him from rank amateurs to the great and he was apparently courteous and patient with all of them, obligingly posing and even praising the results of some of the most unlikely in his letters.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981425 - 08/14/08 10:43 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chardonnay:
It has been documented that Chopin didn't care for Delacroix' paintings (although they were good friends), but... did he at least like the portrait of himself (and Sand) that Delacroix painted? I always wondered that. [/b]
Chardonnay - I have never come across a reliable source that shows that Chopin didn't like Delacroix' paintings although it is often repeated in biographies, which seem to feed off each other. I think it's just a myth although I'd be happy to be shown that there is some evidence one way or the other.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#981426 - 08/17/08 09:18 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Thanks, pianistical: You give wonderful history lessons, which I sorely need. Poland shares something in common with France in that one can hardly keep track of all the kings and battles and such. Whenever I try to figure out what has gone on in the past, my eyes glaze over.

About Delacroix: I have often wondered how Chopin and he kept their friendship so solid throughout the years. We have read that Chopin did not care that much for Delacroix's works, but who knows for sure. I do like his portrait of Chopin because I think he tries to show not just an image of the man but all the emotion and inner conflicts that were so often deeply hidden and only came to the surface through his music. Compared to the renderings by other artists (which are so flat and boring), Delacroix's is alive and teaming with respect, love and perhaps some understanding of what made Chopin, Chopin.

Now here's a way-out fantasy question for you. If you suddenly found yourself in Chopin's studio as one of his students, which composition of his would you ask the master to play? We all know about his gentle touch and also his ability to play those raging chords with little effort.

I confess I would have a difficult time choosing one. But I think it would be that mighty giant...48.1. This piece has its delicate and lovely moments but also moments of wonderous and exceptional grandeur. The fact that it is my favorite has something to do with my choice, but not everything. I would just love to hear his "interpretation." I believe it might be somewhat different from what we hear played today.

So...what say you all?

Fondly,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#981427 - 08/17/08 12:09 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
I do like [Delacroix's] portrait of Chopin because I think he tries to show not just an image of the man but all the emotion and inner conflicts that were so often deeply hidden and only came to the surface through his music. Compared to the renderings by other artists (which are so flat and boring), Delacroix's is alive and teaming with respect, love and perhaps some understanding of what made Chopin, Chopin[/b]
Kathleen, I think that's very insightful and explains why the Delacroix portrait is perhaps the most popular and most well-recognized one of Chopin.
 Quote:
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Now here's a way-out fantasy question for you. If you suddenly found yourself in Chopin's studio as one of his students, which composition of his would you ask the master to play? We all know about his gentle touch and also his ability to play those raging chords with little effort.[/b]
Oh dang, how could one choose? Any of the mazurkas would do, but I'd choose a longer piece to get the most bang for my buck!

For me, then, I'd select any of the following: the Polonaise-Fantaisie, Ballade #3 or #4, the Allegro de Concert or the Barcarolle.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#981428 - 08/17/08 02:22 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3475
Loc: US
Great question, Kathleen! It would be hard to pick just one but I think I'd choose the Fantaisie in f minor.

It's got everything-- gorgeous lyricism, stormy drama. wow.

If I could have a second it would be the 2nd Sonata. ;\)

Sophia

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#981429 - 08/17/08 05:11 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
For me - the Sonata Funèbre.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#981430 - 08/17/08 07:34 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
According to my friend from Warsaw, there is still friction between Warsaw and Krakow, but I don't know much about that. Yes, thanks for the history lesson!

About the Delacroix painting, one thing I find interesting is that the washy, loose portrayal of Mme Sand makes her appear to be surrounded both by smoke and by music. It's as if the music itself has been painted in. She seems to be enraptured and enveloped by the music.

What would I like Chopin to play if I time-traveled into his studio? I suppose whatever he felt like playing at the time, since that is what would express his inner being at that moment and what would come out best.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#981431 - 08/17/08 08:48 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I would like to hear him improvise. (I would also love to hear how he played Bach if this were a prolonged visit. ;\) )
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981432 - 08/18/08 09:33 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Elene: I agree that Delacroix's Sand does look different; almost like he didn't quite finish it, which I think I read somewhere. She looks quite demur and reticent, which we all know is quite far from the truth. I don't think Delacroix knew or understood her quite as well as he did Chopin and thus probably had a less instinctive ability to put her to his brush. I do know that he was incensed when she read her Lucrezia Floriani to both Delacroix and Chopin.

I have often wondered just what kind of reaction Sand hoped from Chopin. And why she chose to read it to him, especially in the company of his best friend. I believe that she not only wanted to humiliate him but also she wanted and expected Chopin to react as she imagined he would. That he would fly into some kind of childish rage and storm out of her house and her life forever. That she didn't know him as well as she thought she did is quite evident. That he chose to ignore the obvious cruelty she penned tells me much of his character. And it also speaks volumes of hers.

This is interesting: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.ht...n=&pagewanted=2

Thank you for your replies as to which composition you would have liked Chopin to play. To hear him improvise would have been exciting.

MaryRose: I thought I was in the minority of those who liked his Sonata Funèbre. Rather than concentrating on the death dirge, I love the middle section, which seems to be (to me) a ray of sunshine and hope.

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#981433 - 08/18/08 11:26 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
Kathleen - the best bit of the link you provided was this:

Rubinstein asserted Chopin's personality was 'one in which passion was combined with lucidity, temperament with discretion, and forcefulness with self-control.'

What a lovely quote.

As for Delacroix' painting - I think it is entirely unfinished. I've seen it in reality and it looks as though he gave up halfway through. The colour has't been completed (Chopin is mainly yellow/brown) and it looks very sketchy.

When choosing what I would like to hear Chopin himself play I wanted to choose something with a lot of variety, that went on for quite some time! I was being greedy. But having now read Frycek's response, I so agree that to have heard him improvise would have been best of all.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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